“ Brand: ELC / Type: Baby ride on/scooter „
*Please note that the current version of this Trike differs slightly to the picture here, Dooyoo have said for me to add my review here anyway and I will mention the differences in this review*
My son's main Christmas present last year was ELC's 'Smart trike', suitable for ages from 6 months upwards he was just about the right age to be able to be taken out in it when we bought it and his mummy and myself figured it would give him something different to sit in rather than his pushchair when he's taken out for a bit of fresh air on walks. There were a few colours available at the time and we bought the red version of the trike and at the time it cost just short of £100.00 although it does feature on special offer quite frequently on the Mothercare website and there are savings to be made if it's bought at the right time.
Sold as a 'smart trike' it has the capacity to adapt to the needs of a growing child; for very young children it's pretty much as shown in the picture here although the bottom bumper bar has now been replaced with a couple of jutting side bars with wheels that add stability. As your child grows the back upright handle can be removed as well as the side bars which makes it a sit on trike or it can be altered to become a scooter should your child prefer. It's mainly constructed of tough, durable plastic and comes needing to be assembled in quite a large cardboard box complete with a complex instruction sheet which has clear illustrations of the assembly process. As my son is only 7 months old and obviously can't move the trike himself yet it had to be fully made up as a push-along trike and tasking myself with the job of assembly I decided to see if I could put it together.
I'm not the most 'handy' of people I have to admit, usually I get somebody in to help when it comes to DIY jobs but as I'd left it until Christmas Eve and was going to cop-out and just wrap the box up and then look at getting assembled after Christmas I decided to see if I could put the trike together myself. Removing the various components from the box was straight forward enough and the instruction pamphlet seemed to be easy to follow and whilst it did take me a good couple of hours to assemble the thing I can honestly say that it wasn't too bad at all. It is a bit fiddly I must admit and there were times when I went wrong and misunderstood the instructions but I would say that anyone who is a bit more able than me at DIY jobs shouldn't find it too hard to put together at all. The main parts are quite chunky and the instruction pamphlet is clear and I can't really find too much to criticise as far as how the trike has been manufactured. I do think it's well made, there are no sharp edges or misaligned holes and once it was put together it stood firmly in one piece without any wobbles or causes for concern. As I had to fully construct it myself I could see what bits would need to come off for it to be converted to the self-propelled trike and scooter and when the time comes for it to be changed I'm quite confident that this will be easily achieved, at the moment it's used exclusively as the push-along trike and this review will continue with my thoughts on how it is at the moment and how my son finds it.
Fully made up the trike measures around 73cm in length, 39cm in width and around 40cm in depth, the handle is of such a height that you don't need to stoop whilst pushing it and can be adjusted to suit. There is a safety harness that keeps your child safely and securely sat in place and has adjustable straps that can again can be adjusted. The seat has a little padding to it although nothing too thick but does offer some comfort and the seat can be reclined if desired. The wheels are quite chunky and grip the floor well without slipping and are made from rubber which is described as being 'anti skid' these combined with the side stabiliser bars make the trike easy to push along although admittedly it is a bit of a nightmare to turn corners due to how wide it is. It can be turned though but I certainly wouldn't suggest it being taken on uneven ground or anywhere where there might be tight corners as you are pushing from the back and it can take a while to get used to how best to push it along. For short walks I think the trike is fine, on pavements it grips the surface well and on dry grass it's not too bad, obviously due to the open nature of its design I wouldn't suggest taking it out in damp conditions and I think it would struggle on ice or wet patches so I do think it's probably best suited to the warmer months of the year rather than the colder ones. As this was a Christmas present to my son I have had him out in it a few times since it was put together but I can see it being used more once the colder months have passed.
My son sits comfortably in the trike and seems to enjoy being pushed along, he's a bit too young yet to fully take in the design but I know its something that he will appreciate more as he gets older. There is a handy storage bag on the handle which comes in useful for carrying a spare nappy or a bottle and it's a good size that can hold a fair amount of stuff and again for longer walks in the Spring or Summer time I do think that it will make for a handy inclusion that will be well used. I like the versatility of the trike and the fact that it can be changed to grow with my child and can definitely see it being something that will be around for a few years to come. It's easy to maintain, any splashes or marks are easily removed from the plastic and although the tyres will become worn with use I can't see them ever wearing out as they are made from thick, chunky rubber.
For £100.00 or so I do think that it has been a good buy and other than being a little bit fiddly to put together and not all that great at turning corners I do think that once the side bars have come off it will be a lot easier to manoeuvre and is something that will grow with my child. I like the trike and my son enjoys being taken out in it when he gets taken to his grandparents house and I know there will be a time when he's bombing around on it on his own.
Available to buy online and instore at Mothercare and recommended by me, the Smart Trike from ELC gets a near perfect 4 stars as a rating. Thanks for reading my review.